I don’t have many self photos to share this week, I’ve been preparing for my mini-break for the last long weekend of the summer and working on several design things at once. Honestly this will be my first weekend of the last 3 months where I am not conducting a photoshoot, out of town, or doing some business-related activity. I love my job- dearly- but I am terrible at giving myself time to relax and recharge. Which results in getting sick or burning out at the worst times.
One of my goals this year is to cultivate balance. When your “work” is your passion, and expression of your soul- it can be really difficult to set down the reins and let it leave your mind regularly. Any small business owner or artist I know has the same problem!
It’s as if we forget how important relaxing and taking care of ourselves is! We live in a culture where people “brag” about being tired every day, where taking time to recharge or unwind seems selfish or unproductive. When in reality doing those things helps you be a better you- whatever your field or passion!
Here’s a list of little things you can do to help keep yourself fueled and functional, to avoid crashing, and colds brought on by exhaustion. More of a reminder to myself than anything, but maybe it’ll help some of you too! 😀
SLEEP- Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Such an easy thing to short change yourself on- more hours awake means more hours doing. But if you’re exhausted you have to work twice as hard for half the results. Sleep deprivation is proven to reduce the speed and accuracy in different types of brain activity. Ever get exhausted and forget words? Every body requires a different number of hours to feel rested and peppy upon waking. Mine sits somewhere between 8-9, but I rarely get that many hours. When I do it’s as if the world is full of singing birds and kindly forest animals who help me get dressed (okay that’s an exaggeration- my cats just pull at ribbons on my clothes or get hair on them). Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.
EAT DECENTLY- You don’t have to be a hard core organic granola health nerd to feel the effects of happy nutrients. I am not the person to advize anyone on a hardcore diet as chips are a food group in my world, however I notice a tangible difference in my mood, energy levels, and focus when I eat better! It doesn’t even have to be a total diet overhaul, just toss 3 more pieces of fruits or vegetables into your day (I put a banana and an apple in my bag most days to eat when I have a spare moment or feel hungry). The boost in nutrients will help your body stay healthy and vibrant. Also fruit is delicious. Get to know your body/hunger levels and follow your cravings and you’ll end up eating fairly well and balanced.
MOVE A LITTLE- This is one thing I am pretty good about doing consistently. I walk everywhere because I live in a city and if I don’t walk any length for a couple of days I feel it in my muscles and in my mood. I don’t do the gym, and I can’t maintain interest in work out videos/plans- but long walks are my drug of choice. They boost your metabolism, help you feel calm, lower stress levels, and let you work problems and things out in your head. My walks are my time to listen to music and daydream. Some of my best ideas appear while I am walking! Some people use meditation for this, games, reading or other forms of exercise, everyone is different.
KEEP INSPIRED- Surround yourself in inspiration! Find people who bring out the best in you and see them often. Create mood boards full of images that ignite your imagination and remind you of your goals/dreams, put them in places where you’ll see them every day. Watch documentaries, read voraciously, be curious and excited about all things. I find if I am feeding my brain inspiring things all the time it stays sharp and creative. Better things in means better results out!
This list could go on forever. Taking time to take care of yourself is not frivolous or selfish. It helps you put your best self forward at all times, to get the most out of doing what you love and living your life!
Go be awesome this weekend and have a great “labour day”!